Julia Yasuda didn’t expect to be managing an auto shop at the tender age of 21. But then her father unexpectedly passed away a little over a year ago, and now she runs Pikasso, an auto shop that specializes in glass coat technology.
“Pikasso was established in May 2016 by my father, Masanari Yasuda. Pikasso was handed down to me by my father a few months before he passed away,” she told Saipan Tribune.
Julia started working with her father in September 2018 and was his right hand at all times. “My father took me under his wing and allowed me to learn the ropes of running Pikasso. While my father had always intended on having a family business, we never expected his sudden passing. It took us all by surprise. Out of his seven children, I am the third youngest. And yet he entrusted me with his business,” she said.
And although it isn’t exactly her passion, Julia said that managing Pikasso gives her fulfillment that she’s continuing her father’s legacy.
What sets Pikasso apart from other auto shops on island is its use of glass coat technology on its repainting work. “Like many other places, we do headlight cleaning, paint jobs, and undercoating, but what truly sets us apart is our glass coat technology. We are the only auto shop on island that is able to do this type of service,” she said.
Most places can only offer undercoating, but Pikasso’s glass coating enables its customers to protect the body and paint of their vehicles.
“We believe in quality over quantity, hence why Pikasso carries its products from Japan. Glass coating is a solvent that combines the paint of the car and clear coat. The nano chemical polishes the car before the glass coat is applied. Once the glass coat is added, your car is protected from any sun damage and will also reflect like a mirror. No wax needed!” said Julia.
Like all other businesses, Pikasso wasn’t spared from the economic turmoil of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Due to the pandemic, our sales have decreased. I’ve had to reduce our store hours and was on the verge of closing the shop,” she said.
Aside from the coronavirus, one of the biggest challenges Pikasso experienced the past couple of years is the renewal of the auto shop’s staff that are under the CNMI-Only Transitional Worker program.
“We’ve faced many difficulties throughout the years, all of which have been quite challenging, but I must say that the renewal for CW-1 was a tough process and very costly,” she said.
Julia said most of Pikasso’s employees are CW workers and are highly qualified, do a phenomenal job, and always exceed her expectations.
“What the workers have here at Pikasso is technique and skill, which is very important to me because I want our customers to be satisfied with the results of their vehicles. This helps us in earning their trust. It’s difficult to find the same quality of worker that my employees have and Pikasso is very lucky to have them,” she said.
At the moment, Pikasso has a promotion for new vehicles that starts at $100 off of glass coating and $60 off for undercoating.
She might be new in running an auto shop, but Julia is already looking at expanding Pikasso’s services, especially after the COVID-19 crisis passes. “We plan to expand and upgrade our production facilities. I envision a sleek, clean, modern look for our shop that gives off an inviting aura when customers come in. I also intend on enhancing our value-added services in the near future. Many customers have made inquiries on whether we do tinting or bedliner paint services. Therefore, I am currently doing my research to obtain the best quality for our clients.”
Pikasso is located at the foot of the hill going up to the Northern Marianas College (right side). They’re open 8am-3pm, Monday to Friday. For any inquiries or quotations, do not hesitate to give them a call at 234-3358.